Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lunch date with CJ and Kai!

CJ's first birthday was the perfect excuse for a lunch date, so CJ and Abby and Kai and Erica came over and we walked to Nosh to celebrate. The mommies had just as much fun as the babies and when it was nap time, we narrowly avoided a triple meltdown and headed back to our respective homes. Marin loved spending the day with her boyfriends, and Abby, Erica and I managed to discuss topics other than our children. Now THAT is the makings of a great day! Three cheers for great friends!

A Reunion at Miss Kathy's!

One thing I was worried about with me staying home, is Marin missing Miss Kathy and her friends from daycare. It feels a little selfish to me- Mommy wants to spend more time with you, so now you don't get to go and play with your friends everyday. While we have been keeping busy, and logging in a lot of quality time with our great friends that Marin didn't have a chance to see at daycare, I still wanted her to get to visit with her daycare friends.

Miss Kathy was so excited when we said that we were coming for a visit on Wednesday morning. It was a quiet day with summer vacations, so only Kevin was there. Marin loves Kevin, who is just a few months older than she, and the two of them had a great reunion. Kathy was glad to get a few Marin snuggles in as well, and was glad to see that she is just as happy as always.

Marin hadn't forgotten the ropes one bit. She loved playing with all her favorite old toys, and singing their familiar songs. And, when it was lunch time at Kathy's (or what she calls meltdown hour) Marin walked right up to Kathy's pantry to help prepare lunch, as she usually did. Instead of staying for lunch, we meet Grandma for lunch at her house, but it was a great morning spent reconnecting. Kathy and Marin's daycare friends will always be special to us. We can't wait for the next visit!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don't Just Sit There... ROCK!

Yesterday, Marin and I walked to the library to attend a one man singing and dancing program called, "Don't Just Sit There... ROCK!" I am not sure who had more fun: Marin, who sang and danced her heart out; or me, who had the pleasure of watching her enjoy herself so much.

This man travels around singing songs to little children of all ages, and performs this show about reading books, having fun, being kind, sharing, etc. All of his songs have dance moves to go with them, and there were parts for the parents to participate in as well. Basically, something for everyone to make a fool of themselves. Complete fun in my book, and apparently Marin's too; she had an absolute BALL. She acted like she went to these shows and sang these songs every day. If she could be this guy's groupy, she would.

The highlight by far was when he asked for volunteers from the audience. A whole bunch of six year olds and Marin, ran up there. When he made a comment about how she was ready to rock, and everyone giggled, Marin turned around to face the crowd, beamed and cracked up. It was as if she was saying, "I know, I'm completely social AND adorable." (Which by the way, she is- not that I'm at all biased.) When she proceeded to show off her dance moves in front of the whole room of about 75, and in line with the big kids, a few moms turned around, caught my eye and asked me, "Is she yours?!" I was proud to claim her.

For a few songs, all of the children got to use an instrument from a huge box that he brought and let the children choose from. Marin was too little to nudge her way through the crowd, and came up empty handed, but she wasn't bothered by this a tiny bit. She was just as happy to use my keys, which was my impromptu idea for her "instrument". For the last number, everyone did the hula hoop. Marin has never used one before, but she waited patiently for her turn, and then stepped in the hula hoop and ran around the room dancing with it.

We had so much fun, and Marin was so well behaved, that we walked to get ice cream afterward. Marin gobbled it right up and said, "ice cream". That's my girl! We tried a new place this time, and they had all natural frozen dog treats at the ice cream shop too, so we decided to bring Norah home a summer treat!

SUCH a great afternoon!!!

Here is a video of the first song. You can see it takes Marin about 17 seconds to get into the show. She was hooked from there. (Adult Warning: This song is really catchy!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

In the Groove...

Marin and I continue to have a great time together and have gotten into a bit of a groove. We have been putting in the miles on the stroller during a lot of walks, are hitting up a lot of parks, and kicking and splashing our way through the pool. Also worth noting: we have survived our first trip to the grocery store, and Costco (which, by the way is a DREAM on a Wednesday at noon) and have even managed to run a few other errands. Here are some other things that we have been up to lately.

We are enjoying breakfast on the deck together every morning:

Marin loves the swings!

We had a playdate/lunch date with our friends Caroline and Tommy:

We walk with Grandma from her house to see Miss Ellen's coy pond. Marin knows the exact way, including where on the sidewalk to leave her little car that she pushes there. She leads us back to the pond, climbs up on the bench seat, points and says, "Ish! Ish!"

We hosted my Grandparents and my mom for lunch on Thursday to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday:

Friday, we were invited to a party at my old work. Everyone brought their kids and I had a good time visiting with friends.

I was so glad that Marco was at the party with his mommy, Melanie. Marin and Marco were born one day apart. I really wanted to get their picture together, but neither one of them shared my enthusiasm. :)

We love the weekends when Daddy is home and we can all enjoy the sunshine together.

We go out to dinner:

Take bike rides:

Shop the outdoor French Market by our house:

This weekend we went to the Geneva Arts Fair just down the street from our house:

And last night we gathered with family to celebrate Grandpa and I one last time on our birthday month. It was a delicious meal nothing short of a feast packed with our favorites.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Josie's on a vacation far away

We returned Monday night from five days of inside jokes, performing water stunts until they nearly killed us, and watching Lindsay laugh until she cries. You guessed it... the annual Patterson Cousins trip- where showers are optional, but fun is required. We returned to Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota this year, and again Bob and Gretchen (with four month old twins Jacob and Robbie in tow) were our excellent hosts.

With six children all under one roof this trip, life didn't slow down for anything. It stays light a lot longer that far north, so we threw bedtimes to the wind and schedules out the window. It is a lot of fun to watch all the little cousins together (no, I'm not talking about you Bob). Four of the six kids that were there were under two, leaving Jack (8) and Ella (6) heads of baby activities and seeming like teenagers. Everyone had a great time in the controlled chaos, and you know I loved holding those little twin boys. Every time they smiled at me, I swear I felt the earth move.

We loved meeting Bob and Gretchen's fun friends Rick and Kate, who graciously put up with our screaming babies and child like banter; and for some crazy reason returned day after day, night after night for more. The first day I addressed Rick as Rich for at least three solid hours, and he didn't correct me once. I guess he figured it could have been, as Ella says, "Awk-ward!" Once I realized my mistake, I decided to come clean, and then proceeded to purposefully call him Rich for the rest of the trip. He reciprocated by calling my Josie. The nicknames stuck, until Ella announced that she thought his name was Rex. Thus, T-Rex was born. At the end of the weekend I invited Kate and Rick/Rich/T-Rex to Marin's wedding. The reunion is sure to be sweet. We missed Mike, Elizabeth, Drew and Ollie this year, but we were so glad to get to visit with them when they were here in June.

Every year this is a great weekend made up of one part relaxation and two parts hilarity. Late one night as Bob and Gretchen were putting the twins to bed, Jason and Don decided to decorate Bob's yard for Christmas. It seemed a fitting thank you for offering their house up to our mess and destruction for five days. We attended a Sierra Nevada beer tasting one day, survived two tornado warnings (complete with sirens and golf ball size hail), stayed up way too late talking, saw a fireworks show, hit up Lord Fletchers- our favorite waterfront dining spot, and ended many a day with a sunset boat ride. Color me happy; that's the recipe for Josie's perfect long weekend.

Marin rode behind the boat for the first time, and officially earned her sea legs. She and Daddy boarded a raft together and Don pulled them behind his boat at a snail's pace. Marin giggled and waved the whole time. The rest of us left with plenty of scars and bruises, the mark of a truly good time and effort to perform tricks we've never before attempted.

Marin also strung her first two words together on this trip- "my shoes". That girl has a serious love for her footwear, and she's gonna let you know. I'm very proud. She also learned how to say "mine" from two year old Elise, and now everything is "mine (this)" and "mine (that)". She did pretty well with letting me hold the babies, but she did say a few times, "mine mommy". She really loved taking care of Jacob and Robbie- bringing them their bottles and pacis as well as giving them plenty of love and hugs.

Another weekend highlight was getting to see our friend Kelsey and her boyfriend, Andrew. Kelsey is Molly's sister, and since she lives in St. Paul, we invited her out to the boat for the day, and didn't waste any time initiating her to the world of hurt that is being pulled by Don behind his boat at 35 mph on the tube. She and I rode together, as did Andrew and Jason and we all nearly died at various times when we hit a huge bump and flew 3 feet in the air, or when we rolled off the tube and literally bounced off the water, but we laughed the whole time.

In fact, it seemed as though laughing was a theme for the weekend as is always the case. It was another great trip with wonderful Patterson cousins. These trips may only come once a year, but the memories will last a lifetime. (That's what she said.)